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Israeli forces shoot rubber-bullets, tear gas at Jerusalem hospital

Oct. 29, 2015 7:04 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 9, 2015 3:42 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces raided the al-Makassed Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday, shooting tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets during a sit-in protest against recent Israeli actions at the hospital, sources at the scene told Ma'an.

Dozens of Palestinians, patients and employees of the al-Makassed Hospital were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets and suffered from tear gas inhalation, as Israeli forces raided the hospital "indiscriminately," firing directly into the hospital compound, sources said.

The secretary-general of the employees’ union of the hospital, Talal Sayyad, said a nurse and a patient were reportedly injured with rubber-coated steel bullets.

Israeli forces also allegedly summoned a doctor for interrogation.

An Israeli police spokesperson told Ma'an he had no information on the raid.

Thursday's protest was announced earlier this week, following Israeli raids at the hospital, in which forces demanded patient files.

Demanding medical records

Earlier on Thursday, the administration of al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem said it had refused to hand over medical files to Israeli forces belonging to Palestinians treated after recent clashes that had erupted in the city.

The head of al-Makassed Hospital, Rafis al-Hussieni, told Ma'an that Israeli forces entered the medical facility on Tuesday and Wednesday as well, requesting the files without permission from an Israeli court.

Al-Husseini said that undercover armed Israeli forces deployed in units throughout the hospital, insulting patients and employees before requesting medical files belonging to a Palestinian youth who was shot by Israeli forces, treated in the hospital, and recently detained.

The forces told hospital staff that a prescription issued by al-Makassed had been found during a raid of the child's home.

Al-Husseini and the medical staff in the hospital have repeatedly declined to release patient information to the forces.

"It is not our job to give any information about anyone who comes to hospital or to take any personal information. Our job is only to help them and provide them with medical treatment," al-Husseini told Ma'an.

He added that the hospital at times provides medical treatment for injured Palestinians without taking any information or creating files for them.

A staff member of the hospital on Tuesday told Ma'an that they released the information from the file of a Palestinian patient to Israeli forces.

Al-Husseini condemned Israeli violations against the hospital. "The hospital has become desecrated by Israeli troops," he said, urging international human rights groups and legal committees to protect the hospital.

"Israeli violations against the Palestinian hospital are against the law and until today we cannot find anyone to protect the hospital, the patients, and the staff."

The association representing the employees also condemned the lack of international response towards recent events in Jerusalem, including Israeli raids of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the separation of Palestinian neighborhoods, and increased checkpoints across the occupied city.

Israeli forces have frequently stormed hospitals to seize medical records and detain patients.

At the beginning of the month, undercover forces, dressed as Palestinians, detained a Palestinian patient after storming al-Arabi Hospital in Nablus in the northern West Bank.

In mid-October, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society also decried the actions of Israeli forces toward its medical staff.

The society said that Israeli forces had attacked its ambulance crews and detained Palestinian patients from inside ambulances. It said that the incidents were "a blatant violation" of international humanitarian law.

Joe Fattal / USA
I call that opening up a wound before it heals. A very irresponsible and stupid reaction from Israel when they were just asking the hospital few days ago someone's medical records and I believe they got it. Maybe they probably couldn't read the doctors handwritting.
29/10/2015 20:46
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